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Effects of immunocastration and a β-adrenergic agonist on retail cuts of feedlot finished Nellore cattle

  • D. J. Brigida (a1), D. S. Antonelo (a1), M. R. Mazon (a1), K. E. Z. Nubiato (a1), J. F. M. Gómez (a1), A. S. Netto (a1), P. R. Leme (a1), N. R. B. Cônsolo (a1), D. M. C. Pesce (a2) and S. L. Silva (a1)...


Immunocastration (ImC) has been proposed as an animal welfare-friendly alternative to reduce sexual and aggressive behavior and to increase carcass fat deposition with positive effects on meat quality. The β-adrenergic agonists (β-AA) are known as repartitioning agents that acts increasing lean tissue deposition. The combined use of these technologies can positively affect meat quality and increase retail cuts yield. Thus, this research was conducted to evaluate the combined effects of ImC and β-AA (zilpaterol hydrochloride (ZH) and ractopamine hydrochloride (RH)) on retail cuts, bones, and fat trim of feedlot finished Bos indicus (Nellore) cattle. No interaction was observed between sexual condition and diet for any trait. The ImC decreased cold carcass, hindquarter (HQ), forequarter (FQ) and combined brisket, short ribs and flank (BSF) weights. The ImC also showed smaller weights of retail cuts and bones on the HQ and on the FQ than non-castrated (NoC). Fat trim weights did not differ from ImC and NoC. The most of subprimal cuts were heavier in NoC than in ImC. Feeding β-AA did not affect cold carcass weight; however, animals fed ZH had higher weights of HQ and retail cuts in HQ when compared with RH and control (CO) group, with no differences between RH and CO for both traits. The weights of FQ, BSF, retail cuts in FQ, as well as bones and fat trimmings were not affected by β-AA. In summary, ImC decreases carcass and retail cut weights, whereas ZH supplementation leads to an improvement in carcass lean tissue and retail cuts.


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Present address: Animal Science Department, College of Animal Science and Food Engineering, University of Sao Paulo, Pirassununga, SP 13635-900, Brazil.



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